Dry, chalky white rubbery flesh...
Memories of Sunday dinners past.
A roasted chicken doesn't need to be dry and tasteless. It also doesn't only need to be cooked on a Sunday. Blow your family's mind and roast a chicken on a Monday! This recipe will only take about an hour or so - enough time for you enjoy a nice glass of wine, do a bit of online gambling or perhaps shave your back.
I've been making this chicken for years and it's always a hit. The brightness of the lemon paired with the sharpness of the garlic and the aromatic herbs yields an incredibly delicious and juicy result.
A few tips:
- Purchase the best quality chicken you can find, always opt for organic.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge for 20 minutes before roasting. A cold chicken takes longer to cook, it also cooks unevenly.
- Make sure your chicken is completely patted dry. This will ensure a crispy skin.
- Don't be shy about seasoning, the more flavor the better.
- Forget the roasting pan with a rack, use an ovenproof sauté pan to cook your bird, makes for easy cleanup.
- Cover the bottom of pan with potatoes before placing the chicken on top for a simple side-dish.
Then the big question: To truss or not to truss?
I don't truss my bird. Am I lazy? Sort of. This time around I couldn't remember where my kids put the kitchen twine after they made nooses for their Barbie dolls, so the bird went without. I've trussed and have gone untrussed, and really haven't noticed a difference. I find that if you're not going to truss, stuff the cavity with lemons & herbs and the hot air circulating within the oven won't dry the bird out.
So don't save that roast chicken for Sunday only - go crazy on a weeknight, it'll be so worth the leftovers the next day. If there are any.
HERB & LEMON ROASTED CHICKEN
- 1 whole 3 to 4 pound organic chicken
- sea salt & black pepper
- 2 medium lemons, one zested
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 tbs unsalted room temperature butter
- 1 bunch each of fresh thyme & parsley, chop half of each bunch
- extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash and pat chicken dry and place breast side up in a large 12" oven proof sauté pan. Loosen the breast skin with your fingers and season the meat generously with salt & pepper, lemon zest, garlic, butter and chopped herbs. Thinly slice lemon and place 2 slices under skin of each breast. Rub reaming butter over skin, season with salt, pepper, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Stuff remaining lemon and whole herbs into cavity of chicken.
Place chicken in oven and roast for 20 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 375 and continue to cook for another 45 minutes. Internal temperature of chicken should reach 165 degrees when thermometer is inserted into the thigh.
Let chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.